Skill Challenge Rules

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Postby SpiderGuyPrime » April 9th, 2015, 6:57 pm

A question for anyone that can point me the right way. I'm currently tearing through the 4E podcast trying to catch up, and as a DM I am interested in the mechanics of the skill challenges that are used. I hear mention of *paths* but can't find an explanation on how they are run. Can anyone send a link or provide some directions? Thanks!
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Re: Skill Challenge Rules

Postby Ceraph » April 15th, 2015, 11:39 am

Hello there!

I might be able to help you. At least some. But first I need to ask what iterations are you trying to figure out?

When they started, Greg largely used the classic 4th edition skill challenge format (Moderate roll=1 success. Hard roll=2 successes. 10 above hard roll=3 successes<----this was his own modification) with several different success tracks to be handled at once (though in other cases such as when Deomin had to escape from the Griffin or when the party rode down the back of Doom Island it was more of a numbers game where the roll helped determine distance traveled.

The Second iteration was the use of a system called "Don't Wake the Sentries" which they used for a lot of their Epic Tier campaign. That is the one where they had multiple different tracks that required a roll to determine what sort of skills can be used there (ass-kicking=arcana, athletics, endurance for example. Other categories include knowledge, attention, athleticism, etc.) Unfortunately I cannot really help you much with this one. I never had the chance to actually experiment with it and it is complex enough that I can't say I really understand it myself.

The third and final iteration was the simplest mechanically but requires the most on the spot work from the DM. Essentially, it was a return to the classical form of skill challenges where there was a certain number of successes required to reach a goal. HOWEVER, Greg changed it up to make it so the party would proclaim what their goal was and, from that, Greg would create the skill challenge (how many successes were needed, the various thresholds of success). There were 3 different thresholds. Failure, Status Quo, and Success. Failure is the situation for the players worsen considerably. Status Quo largely means that the current status is maintained. Maybe a slight push towards something better or worse depending on how close they were to either. And finally is success where the player's goals are completely realized.
Now, it should be noted that there is one other large change to this mode. Mainly that if the players underperformed, every missed success could be substituted with a healing surge allowing them, at a cost, to ensure success.

And there you go. That is all I know. If you have any questions, feel free to ask :-D
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